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Carbon This, Carbon That. Is Carbon Neutral Just The Next Clean Washing Movement?

As we turn the corner on what’s been a crazy year — or three — many of us have come out of this even more health conscious than we were before.

Let that be one positive that came out of this whole mess. So what does it mean when a brand claims to be carbon neutral? As a health conscious consumer– should you even care? Let’s dive in!

Does Carbon Neutral Even Matter?

Short answer–yes. Brands are constantly looking to differentiate themselves in the food and beverage space. Buzz words like natural, vegan, sugar-free, or vitamin-fortified appear on pretty much every label. But these labels don’t always mean that the product you are looking at is healthy for you. We covered the confusion and “clean washing” behind a lot of these buzzwords on this Daily Tonic, if you care for a recap. But what’s the deal with “carbon neutral?” Is this just another example of “clean washing” — nothing more than an empty label promise and marketing tactic to get you to feel better about your purchase?

Let’s take a step back first and hammer home a very important point–what’s good for our planet is also good for our health. Products that have a positive impact on soil health, climate change, and that support existing ecosystems are always the foods and beverages that we should be consuming for optimal health anyway. Regeneratively raised meats, seasonal, local produce, sustainably caught fish, fats that don’t require heavy machinery or chemicals to extract–these are all healthy foods for us and foods that support the health of our planet. With that context in mind, let’s break down carbon neutrality. In a complete oversimplification for the sake of brevity–carbon released in the atmosphere equals bad, carbon sequestered from the atmosphere equals good. Brands that aim to be carbon neutral do so by measuring the carbon they release through manufacturing and shipping and work to offset those carbon emissions by supporting projects and initiatives that sequester that amount of carbon.This is why buying carbon neutral products matters. Beverage companies tend to be the biggest contributors of carbon emissions because of their need to ship heavy liquids. Add to that the fact that many beverage companies still bottle their products in plastic and you have what is officially called a “double whammy” when it comes to doing things that suck for the planet.

The solution? I know it can feel overwhelming.

Organic, non- GMO, regenerative, soy-free, and now carbon neutral–how can one realistically shop for all these labels all while ignoring the noise of all the clean washing happening in the space? This is why you have the Daily Tonic! We will always point you in the right direction and recommend products that fit the bill–just like this carbon neutral recovery drink brand that also sells water in a can (because plastic sucks).

What do you think?

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